Zach Zavodny

Aquinas' Zach Zavodny looks for an open pass while Nebraska Lutheran High's Matt Becker defends in Thursday night's game at Aquinas. 

LARRY PEIRCE/THE BANNER-PRESS

After a stretch of rough games, the Aquinas boys basketball got back in the win column Jan. 30 against Class C-2 No. 9 Lutheran High Northeast at Aquinas. The Monarchs offense had a balanced inside and outside attack in a 55-49 victory.

“In the first quarter it was 17-13 and I told the kids we can’t give up seventeen a quarter and still win this game, Aquinas coach Kyle Eller said. “We really buckled down thanks to our post presence on the inside.”

The Eagles took a 4-0 lead on layups by Blake Freudenburg and Ben Gebhardt. Aquinas answered with baskets by Kyle Ruth and Gavin Rech.

Later, Jaxson Kant hit a three to put Lutheran High Northeast up 15-9. Tyler Vavrina’s basket on the next possession made it 15-11.

The Monarchs trailed 17-13 after a quarter.

Aquinas started on the comeback trail with a layup inside by Ruth. His jumper in the middle cut the lead to 19-16. The Monarchs took a 27-26 lead into halftime, thanks to a three by Vavrina with under 30 seconds left.

Ruth continued to dominate inside with a layup to begin the second half. Vavrina’s three off a turnover pushed Aquinas’s advantage to 32-28.

The Eagles didn’t go away. Gebhardt added a layup and Kant hit a corner three to tie the game at 34 apiece. Ty Pape’s layup helped Lutheran High Northeast regain the lead at 36-34.

The Monarchs ended the quarter on a 6-0 run, sparked by three-point plays by Daniel Reiter and Braden Smith.

Aquinas built on its lead to begin the fourth when Reiter was fouled on a layup, and he sank a free th row to make it led 43-36.

Jack Jakub’s three up top gave Aquinas opened the biggest lead, 46-38.

The Eagles mounted a comeback, but the stingy Monarch defense denied any chance of that happening.

Vavrina led Aquinas with 18 points and Ruth added 14.

Kant scored 18 points for the Eagles, and Gebhardt added 13.

January 30 at Aquinas

Aquinas (12-6) 13 14 13 15- 55

Lutheran High Northeast (13-4) 17 9 10 13- 49

Scoring –A: Vavrina 18 Ruth 14, Smith 9, Reiter 6, Hartman 3, Jakub 3, Rech 2

LHN-: Kant 18, Gebhardt 13, Pape 8, Freudenberg 5, Becker 3, Koss 2

A: Rech 5, Vavrina 4, Ruth 3, Reiter 2, Hartman 2, Jakub 1, Smith 1, Zavodny 1

LHN-Rebounds: Kant 8, Gebhardt 6, Freudenburg 4, Becker 2, Jackson 1, Deichmann 1

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